To quantify the patterns of movement by P. poliocephalus among roost sites at a range of temporal and spatial scales.
Type of Study:
Movement patterns varied greatly between individuals, with some travelling long distances. Five individuals travelled cumulative distances >1,000 km over the study period. Five individuals showed net displacements >300 km during one month, including one movement of 500 km within 48 hours. Seasonal movements were consistent with facultative latitudinal migration in part of the population. Flying-foxes shifted roost sites frequently: 64% of roost visits lasted <5 consecutive days, although some individuals remained at one roost for several months. Modal 2-day distances between consecutive roosts were 21–50 km (mean 45 km, range 3–166 km). Of 13 individuals tracked for >12 weeks, 10 moved >100 km in one or more weeks.
These findings explain why culling and relocation attempts have had limited success in resolving human-bat conflicts in Australia. Flying-foxes are highly mobile between camps and regularly travel long distances. Consequently, local control actions are likely to have only temporary effects on local flying-fox populations. Developing alternative methods to manage these conflicts remains an important challenge that should be informed by a better understanding of the species’ movement patterns.
Response variable :
Movements of species
2,616 location records from 14 adult males satellite tracked
Roberts, B. J., Catterall, C. P., Eby, P., Kanowski, J. (2012) Long-distance and frequent movements of the flying-fox Pteropus poliocephalus: implications for management. PLoS One. 7, e42532.